Corporate branding refers to the practice of promoting the brand name of a corporate entity, as opposed to specific products or services. The activities and thinking that go into corporate branding are different from product and service branding because the scope of a corporate brand is typically much broader. It should also be noted that while corporate branding is a distinct activity from product or service branding, these different forms of branding can, and often do, take place side-by-side within a given corporation. The ways in which corporate brands and other brands interact is known as the corporate brand architecture.
Changes in stakeholder expectations are causing an increasing number of corporations to integrate marketing, communications and corporate social responsibility into corporate branding. This trend is evident in campaigns such as IBM Smarter Planet, G.E. Ecomagination, The Coca-Cola Company Live Positively, and DOW Human Element. As never before, people care about the corporation behind the product. They do not separate their opinions about the company from their opinions of that company's products or services. This blending of corporate and product/service opinions is due to increasing corporate transparency, which gives stakeholders a deeper, clearer view into a corporation's actual behavior and actual performance. Transparency is, in part, a byproduct of the digital revolution, which has enabled stakeholders-employees, retirees, customers, business partners, supply chain partners, investors, neighbors-with the ability to share opinion about corporations via social media.